Naked Mind: From The Himalayas To Our Fragmented Culture, How Meditation Can Transform Our Society (trailer)
Naked Mind: From The Himalayas To Our Fragmented Culture, How Meditation Can Transform Our Society (trailer)
Notes from Two Scientific Psychologists: Is embodied cognition a “no brainer”?
So we aren’t denying that the brain is interesting and important. We just think it’s doing something very different from what mainstream cognitive #neuroscience thinks it is doing. Our embodied cognition (Wilson & Golonka, 2013 ▻http://www.frontiersin.org/Cognitive_Science/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00058/full ) redefines the job description for the #brain. Whatever it is that the brain is doing, it doesn’t have to be representing anything (this is what the ’radical’ part means). Instead, the brain is a key player in the system that interacts with information to produce behaviour, and that is a very different thing.
There’s More to Us Than Our Brains - So What Does The Brain Do ? (26 juillet 2011)
This post is therefore a first swing at integrating a lot of the things I’ve been blogging about for a while and doing so in a way that leaves a sensible role for the brain. I’m going to need some neuroscientists to talk to, though; I’d appreciate it if people could spread the word on this a little, because there are just some things I want to go a few rounds on with people who know what they’re talking about.
« L’inscription corporelle de l’esprit », F. Varela, E. Thompson, E. Rosch, Edition Seuil 1993.
#Lifehacking is just another way to make us work more. - Slate Magazine
Two new books offer some curious, if indirect, perspectives on lifehacking. Autopilot by Andrew Smart surveys some recent research in neuroscience (particularly the puzzling discovery that our brains seem to be doing a lot of previously undetected work while at rest) to argue that dedicating time to do nothing—literally sitting still and daydreaming—is absolutely necessary if we are to use our mental faculties and stumble upon new and original insights.
To innovate, argues Smart, we must learn how to be idle—at a time when most corporations see idleness as a vice. By Smart’s logic, one way to subvert modern capitalism is to simply get as busy as possible: Your creativity will suffer— and you’ll be not much better than a robot, only far less productive. (It’s also a sure way to get fired!) “Business destroys creativity, self-knowledge, emotional well-being, your ability to be social,” he argues, as he sets out on a quest to “offer bullet-proof scientific excuses for laziness.”
Smart’s celebration of idleness might seem like a perfect fit with the spirit of the “lifehacking” movement, as both seek to free up some time in our already busy days. Instead, he argues that “technology, for all its advantages, is actually taking away our leisure time” and complains that “we are now wired 24/7.” He also lambastes David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done and a lifehacking role model, for rarely, if ever, asking the obvious question: What if we need so many productivity apps simply because we have far too much to do—and not because we are naturally born slackers?
Another thinker concerned with the 24/7 lifestyle is Jonathan Crary, a distinguished art historian at Columbia University who has just published a book titled, well, 24/7. Crary sees sleep as one of the few remaining areas that have resisted colonization by the ominous forces of that faceless chimera, neoliberalism. “The huge portion of our lives that we spend asleep, freed from a morass of simulated needs, subsists as one of the great human affronts to the voraciousness of contemporary capitalism,” he writes. (Yes, Crary’s prose can be sleep-inducing. In his defense, it’s a book about the virtues of sleep!)
Many fascinating anecdotes and statistics follow. The Pentagon, always in the vanguard of innovation, is spending millions to free soldiers from the burden of sleep altogether. We are almost there anyway: According to Crary, today the average North American adult sleeps approximately six and a half hours a night, compared with eight hours a generation ago and 10 hours a century ago. What’s not to like about Crary’s message? Yes, even you can subvert modern capitalism: by sleeping more! #Occupythebedroom.
Oddly, Crary says nothing about lifehacking—a glaring omission, when one of its many branches, “sleep hacking,” is specifically dedicated to tinkering with one’s sleep. A common goal for many “sleep hackers” is to spend less time in a phase known as “light sleep,” shifting it to high-quality phrases such as “deep sleep” or “rapid eye movement sleep.” (The staying-awake phase right before you fall asleep is prized by Crary but apparently dreaded by many “sleep hackers.”)
Sleephackers go to bed with sensors on their wrists and foreheads and maintain detailed electronic sleep diaries, which they often share online. ...”
Des extraits du livre de Satel et Scott O. Lilienfeld, “Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience”, publiés par Salon.com.
« Pop neuroscience is bunk! » - By Satel and Scott O. Lilienfeld
The media — and some scientists — use brain imaging to explain law, politics, even theology. It’s often hooey
By now you’ve seen the pretty pictures: Color-drenched brain scans capturing Buddhist monks meditating, addicts craving cocaine, and college sophomores choosing Coke over Pepsi. The media—and even some neuroscientists, it seems—love to invoke the neural foundations of human behavior to explain everything from the Bernie Madoff financial fiasco to slavish devotion to our iPhones, the sexual indiscretions of politicians, conservatives’ dismissal of global warming, and even an obsession with self-tanning.
Brains are big on campus, too. Take a map of any major university, and you can trace the march of neuroscience from research labs and medical centers into schools of law and business and departments of economics and philosophy. In recent years, neuroscience has merged with a host of other disciplines, spawning such new areas of study as neurolaw, neuroeconomics, neurophilosophy, neuromarketing, and neurofinance. Add to this the birth of neuroaesthetics, neurohistory, neuroliterature, neuromusicology, neuropolitics, and neurotheology. The brain has even wandered into such unlikely redoubts as English departments, where professors debate whether scanning subjects’ brains as they read passages from Jane Austen novels represents (a) a fertile inquiry into the power of literature or (b) a desperate attempt to inject novelty into a field that has exhausted its romance with psychoanalysis and postmodernism.
Brains are in demand. Once the largely exclusive province of neuroscientists and neurologists, the brain has now entered the popular mainstream. As a newly minted cultural artifact, the brain is portrayed in paintings, sculptures, and tapestries and put on display in museums and galleries.
Neuroscience, Special Forces and Yale
Last month, a proposal to establish a U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Center for Excellence in Operational Neuroscience at Yale University died a not-so-quiet death. The broad goal of “operational neuroscience” is to use research on the human brain and nervous system to protect and give tactical advantage to U.S. warfighters in the field. Crucial questions remain unanswered about the proposed center’s mission and the unusual circumstances surrounding its demise. But just as importantly, this episode brings much needed attention to the morally fraught and murky terrain where partnerships between university researchers and national security agencies lie.
Women have more efficient brains than men - Telegraph
The study, published in the journal Intelligence, carried out a series of intelligence tests on men and women.
Despite the fact the women had smaller brains they performed better in inductive reasoning, some numerical skills and were better at keeping track of a changing situation – although men did better on spatial intelligence.
Trevor Robbins, professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Cambridge University, said the results show size does not matter - for women.
“The smaller size could represent more intense packing of nerve cells or more active signalling between them,” he told the Sunday Times. “Meaning they are operating more efficiently.”
“The research suggests that, in women, the smaller the hippocampus, the better it works. The size of a structure doesn’t necessarily bear any relation to how well it performs.”
Les différents journaux reprennent tous l’article du Sunday Times (#paywall) mais pas de référence à la publication de Intelligence.
Hippocampal structure and human cognition: Key role of spatial processing and evidence supporting the efficiency hypothesis in females ▻http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289613000032
L’abstract (reading not recommended for feeble-minded…)
Here we apply a method for automated segmentation of the hippocampus in 3D high-resolution structural brain MRI scans. One hundred and four healthy young adults completed twenty one tasks measuring abstract, verbal, and spatial intelligence, along with working memory, executive control, attention, and processing speed. After permutation tests corrected for multiple comparisons across vertices (p < .05), significant relationships were found for spatial intelligence, spatial working memory, and spatial executive control. Interactions with sex revealed significant relationships with the general factor of intelligence (g), along with abstract and spatial intelligence. These correlations were mainly positive for males but negative for females, which might support the efficiency hypothesis in women. Verbal intelligence, attention, and processing speed were not related to hippocampal structural differences.
La suite pour 31,50 USD…
Quelques uns des tests :
La modélisation des facteurs cognitifs…
[Neurosciences et immortalité] Pour Kenneth Hayworth, dans 100 ans on pourra transférer un cerveau sur un support informatique (et le gars entend se suicider le temps venu pour qu’on stocke son cerveau et ses neurones) :
The Strange Neuroscience of Immortality (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
« Kenneth Hayworth wants to plastinate his brain and have it uploaded to a computer to achieve an immortal consciousness. Is he brilliant? Is he crazy? Is he both? »
The Top 10 Weird Children Of Video Games and Neuroscience
wahou, 10 #études en une
I believe we’re only at the beginning of the cross-pollination between games and neuroscience. Games are helping us unravel things we didn’t know about the brain, from disorders like addiction and amnesia to the processing of pain and visual information. Games are tackling some of the pressing medical issues of our time, including physical rehabilitation and the challenges of an aging population. They’re also teaching us about the way we feel rewarded, and even how we define our sense of self. And as far as neuroscience being on the brink of all its great discoveries, if you ask me, I think Max was right.